Zara Phillips injured, her horse,Tsunami II, killed

Tragedy has struck at Pau Horse Trials for Zara Phillips. The current World Champion has lost one of her advanced rides, Tsunami II, after a fall at fence 15 on the cross-country course.

Zara suffered a broken collarbone and the 10-year-old mare was found to have broken her neck after being transported back to the veterinary clinic. She was then put down. Pau was the mare's first attempt at four-star.

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Stupididty! How many young horses must die before someone does something about it! Cross Country would still be the same if you made it safer. I mean, I do eventing myself but like at a two foot level! I think it is so ridiculous for it to be that dangerous! Why would you risk your horse for it? A thrill? Well, is it worth it?
This is an update:
The 10-year-old mare Tsunami II fell on the landing side of the 15th jump, a straightforward hedge, at the three-star event on Saturday.

Tsunami II (MayHill x El Nino) was transported to a veterinary centre for further examinations but it was discovered the horse had a fracture in the second cervical vertebrae in her neck. She was euthanised on the agreement of the veterinarians involved.

The anglo-european mare was owned by Melanie Duff and Zara Phillips.

Phillips, 27, was taken to a local hospital, where it was found her collarbone was broken. She was given strong painkillers by medical staff and had her arm put in a sling. She made her way back to Britain last night.

A friend said Tsunami II was one of Phillips's favorite horses and she was very upset about the loss.

Pau was the first four-star event for Tsunami II, who had 208 British horse trials points. She had been placed third in an event at Burnham Market in September. Phillips took over the ride in March 2005 from Camilla Stewart-Wood.

Pau spokesman Pascal Sayous said: "The horse fell after jumping over a small hurdle of laurel. It was the easiest obstacle on the course. Zara broke her collarbone. Her shoulder is in a very bad way. We're waiting for a full medical report.

"The horse broke a vertebrae in the neck. This is terrible for a horse, it cannot recover from this. The vets decided to put the horse down.

"It was a very ordinary accident, but it's not common to see such a terrible outcome. In the 20 years that I've been doing this job, w'eve only had to put down two horses, including this one."
This is so tragic and seems to be happening far too much this year.
It's unfortunite to be hearning about these poor, brave horses... and to experience it is the worst thing ever.. My heart goes out to them
Here's a link to a story that ESPN's E:60 did on rotational falls. But first ...

Just FYI: there's disturbing video here. But I don't know what I find more disturbing -- the footage of the falls or Capt. Mark Phillips' attitude.
Hi Rhonda, I'm not sure I have the stomach to watch the video. What did Mark Phillips say? Was it before or after his daughter's horrific fall?
When I posted earlier, I wrote from memory from when I first watched the story in August. So I re-watched the video a few moments ago.

Phillips reportedly declined to comment on this story, but the reporter quoted him as once saying something to the effect of, "You can't make them safe any more than the mountains or the ocean."

I do remember being torqued off at that, as if he were taking a rather cavalier position on the matter. I probably felt that way because that was presented in the context of how maybe making eventing safer might take the excitement out of it.

Whether that was before or after his daughter's fall, I'm not sure. As I said, the story aired in late August of this year.

One thing the story did report was that the IOC had threatened to expel eventing unless the event could be made shorter. So, instead of 18-mile courses, the story said, you get four-mile courses -- with the same number of jumps.
FYI The 18 miles is not all x-country jumping . The speed and endurance phase use to be those distances under the old format. There were four parts to that phase , two roads and tracks, a steeplechase, and then the x-country jumping phase. The modern format dumped the roads and tracks and the steeplechase , this came in at the Athens games. Don't think for a millisecond that there isn't a hell of a lot of effort going into finding sollutions for these problems , and there is more than one cause to the problems here . I have ridden for 25 years eventing to open level and have seen alot of falls like those in the clip, most of which niether horse or rider have been injured, I think at the lower levels riders are encoraged to go to fast. So LOWERING the speed would be a good start, there are just so many different ways to fall on the x-country it is imposable to safegaurd every aspect. I really think that we will see some changes for the better soon , and have a lot of confidants in the people who wil make these because thay do have the wellfare of the horse and rider at heart. Cheers Geoffrey


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